Thursday 30 December 2021

Christmas at Darrowby

Did you watch All Creatures Great and Small Christmas episode?  It was fabulous!  (Channel 5)

By far my favourite tv show of Christmas.  Based on the books by Alf Wight (James Herriot) it the story of a veterinary practice in (the fictional village of Darrowby) Yorkshire and set in the 1930s.  I had recorded the whole series and watched the previous epidodes in the run up to Christmas.  The Christmas special was just magical!  Full of warmth and fun, it just gave me a great feeling of comfort. If you love vintage and nostalgia then watch the intro to the Christmas Special and see Skeldale House all beautifully decorated for Christmas.  (This picture has nothing to do with the tv series, I just put it in!)

Having recorded the episodes I didn't have to put up with all the annoying adverts between the sections.  The whole series is available to watch on My5.

Tuesday 28 December 2021

A cup of poinsettia

I've never had much luck with ponsettias!  

My husband got me this little tiny one - it fits perfectly in this pretty vintage cup.

And ... touch wood ... it seems to be thriving!  Fingers crossed that it survives for a bit longer!  I've grown quite attached to it!

Love, Liz

Monday 27 December 2021

Following the trend

I'm really enjoying this new cross stitch project -  Honey Hill Hamlet by Artful Offerings.  I love the colours - all DMC threads.

I noticed recently that there has been a trend with cross stitchers of keeping their thread on "drops" - pretty cards with holes punched in them one for hanging on a ring and the other to attach the thread.  I usually put my thread on common old bobbins!  

When I started my new cross stitch - I decided I would try this new (to me) way of storing threads.  Being a thrifty Scot, I certainly wasn't going to spend money on something that I didn't know if I would even like, so I hunted around the house to see if I had anything that could be used for this purpose and came across this deck of cards.  They were from the National Gallery and are absolutely beautiful, even the paper they are printed on is lovely and glossy. 

I chose eight lovely cards and punched holes in them to attached my thread.  I'm very pleased with the result, although I'm not sure if I like this method for storing my thread.  I don't think I'll do it for future projects, I'll keep bobbinating!  But for this project I'll stick with these pretty cards.

I'm amazed at how quickly trends take hold in something as simple as cross stitch - probably due to FlossTube "influencers" on YouTube.  So even this old stitcher can be influenced, but it didn't cost me anything and I'm more than happy to go back to my bobbins!

Love, Liz

Friday 24 December 2021

Calendars and cross stitch

 At last!  I've finally got my Christmas Trio houses from Waxing Moon Designs fully finished!

I put them in this calendar holder along with a gorgeous picture from a Lang Publishers Calendar from sometime in the 1990s (sorry, not sure which year).  Think this is a great idea to use some old calendar illustrations of American folk art with cross stitch.  Did you ever have a Lang Calendar?

My sister in law in Canada used to send me the Lang Calendar every year and fortunately I kept them.  I just love the illustrations.  I love stitching houses and these just match some of the lovely cross stitch patterns I've stitched over the years.

The good thing is that I can swap out the illustrations and cross stitch depending on the seasons.  Looking forward to continuing this in 2022.

I actually laced the cross stitch on cardboard covered with batting - not very well - but it was my first time trying lacing, so forgive me for that!

I'm very pleased with the result - a great addition to my Christmas decor.

Love, Liz

Thursday 23 December 2021

Christmas nostalgia

These books belonged to my sons when they were little and bring back some wonderful memories of Christmas time when we were all together.  I can't bring myself to give them away.  I offered them to my son who has children of his own, but he said they were too old fashioned!  (He's obviously not the sentimental type!)  Is Santa ever old fashioned????

Anyway, I still love them, even although they bring a little tear to my eyes as I think of happier times and the wonderful excitement that Christmas used to bring to our home.

I love the images of Santa and his elfs getting the presents ready to deliver.

This Ladybird Book - Santa Claus has a busy night was a real favourite.  As were these Little Golden Books - such beautiful illustrations.

Ah well - I'll keep them out till Boxing Day then put them back in my nostalgia nook for another year.

Perhaps someday I'll find someone who will appreciate them and love them as much as I do.
Love, Liz

Wednesday 22 December 2021

Christmas cross stitch project bag

This is my new Christmas project bag for my seasonal cross stitch.

It's by Patchwork Pawprint on Etsy - the same place I got my gorgeous Hallowe'en project bag from.

I absolutely love the vintage fabric that it is made from.  So pretty!

It has a vinyl front so that you can easily see what's in it and even the fabric inside is just gorgeous!  I'm hoping to continue with some of my Christmas cross stitch projects throughout 2022, so this bag makes it easy for me to find them.

Love, Liz

Monday 20 December 2021

A flurry of festive finishing!

Had a burst of energy at the weekend and got my cross stitch Santas and Snowmen (pattern - Prairie Schooler) fully finished.

I made them all into little pillows.

Look at this cute fabric on the back of the santas.  Also added a little bulb pin with buttons and a cute little bell.

The backing fabric for the snowmen is this red and white design - love it.  They have little jingles too!

Really pleased with how they have all turned out and very happy to have them fully finished in time for Christmas!

Love, Liz

Thursday 16 December 2021

Finished counting!

Well, what I actually mean is that I finally got around to fully finishing off my cross stitch piece Counting is Hard by Luminous Fiber Arts.  I made it into a little pillow.

I found some fabric in my stash which I thought was perfect for the back.  

Isn't it cute?!

So glad to have another fully finished object!

Love, Liz

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Christmas crochet

Almost finished my Christmas crochet blanket.

Just used red, green and white yarn for this but absolutely loved stitching it!

It is quite small, but just want it for the back of a chair or sofa to brighten up the room.  Hope your Christmas crafting is as much fun!

Love, Liz

Friday 3 December 2021

Santas and Snowmen

I've been stitching these gorgeous patterns by Prairie Schooler.

Santas & Snowmen is the name of the pattern and you get lots to choose from.  I choose five for this year.

Didn't leave myself much room around them, but I intend making little pillows with them which I can display around the house.

Stitching these was really satisfying, I don't know why.  Perhaps because there were only a few colours.

I love them and will stitch the others next Christmas.

Love, Liz

Sunday 31 October 2021

Haunted Houses for Hallowe'en

 I've been doing a bit of Hallowe'en cross stitch - haunted houses!

The first one was from a Waxing Moon Designs pattern - Haunted House Trio.  I just wanted a small one to turn into a little ornament for Hallowe'en.  I missed out the border and word which were in the pattern and just stitched the house.

I also thought it would be good to get a new project bag to keep my Hallowe'en stitching projects in, so I ordered this gorgeous bag from Val at Patchwork Pawprint on Etsy, and it arrived just in time!  I've got some other bags from there and you can see them here.  (I also got a beautiful vintage Christmas bag, but I'll show you that once I start my Christmas stitching.)

I also started this pattern Haunted House Sampler by Twin Peak Primitives (pattern can be bought and downloaded from their website here).  I'm not stitching the border or alphabet - just the spooky house and plants.  This has been a bit of a challenge, but I'm sticking with it and although I don't have it finished for this year, I should be able to put it out on display next year.

I hope you have a spooky Hallowe'en!

Love, Liz

Thursday 7 October 2021

Vintage Robert Burns

It has been a long time since I've been rummaging in charity shops but I found this little dish recently and it just had to come home with me.  It has a cute little picture of Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796) on it.  It's by Crown Devon, Fieldings, Stoke on Trent, England.  Isn't it gorgeous!

It also has a quote from one of Burns' more famous poems To A Mouse - "The best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley" (go wrong).  So true!

I've put the little dish together with a little cross stitch pillow I stitched last year and a very old book of Burns' poems which belonged to my Granny.  (Find out more about the book here.)The colours just all go together beautifully.

This little dish was certainly worth waiting for!  

Don't forget that Shortbread & Ginger is on Instagram as Scottish Stitcher.

Love, Liz

Sunday 3 October 2021

Beautiful Autumn Colours

I absolutely love the colours of Autumn.  I like to put out some seasonal decor to brighten up my home.

This autumn garland is just perfect for sidplaying around my lovely glass mosaic jar which has some cute fairy lights inside.  Around the base I've added some pine cones to add to the effect.

I also changed my cross stitch spring house in the shadow box to a gorgeous Autumn house.  Love these colours.

The pattern is a freebie from Pinker n Punkin Quilting & Stitching and is called Crow Creek Saltbox. - thanks Melisa!  I love it!  I attached it to the fabric backing of the box frame with two flower pins and then displayed it with a small pumpkin and glass jar.

Enjoy Autumn!

Love, Liz